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Here comes the polar front

MetService News Release
18 May 2017

Here comes the polar front

Cooler southerlies become established over the country today, but even colder weather is still to come.

“A cold front accompanied by bitter temperatures sweeps up from the Antarctic and after warming ever so slightly over the ocean, arrives in the South Island from tomorrow afternoon and the North Island during Saturday, explains forecaster Cam Coutts.”

Along with strong winds, snow is also forecast, with significant accumulations expected above 400 metres over the lower South Island. There is even a chance that some towns nearer sea level could see a dusting of snow as the front goes by.

“This snow may disrupt travel plans for anyone using higher passes across the South Island road network,” says Coutts, “and possibly the roads across the North Island high country later on Saturday. Motorists are advised to check road and weather conditions before travelling at the NZ Transport Agency and MetService websites.”

The strong flow also brings with it some big and powerful southwest swells along both coasts right through the weekend which could cause some problems for coastal areas.
This flood of cold air will be a big change for the upper North Island after some warm temperatures this week. Frost and ice will also become an issue right across the country as the wind and weather eases into Sunday and Monday and some places fall into negative temperatures overnight.

“If you haven’t got around to putting on the winter sheets yet then this may be the time to do it,” mentioned Coutts.

Map of forecast temperatures for 4am on Sunday

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